Thursday, February 16, 2017


I am honored and pleased to present RRBC & RWISA author, A. M. Manay to today's blog. She is an accomplished author and will share her thoughts about being an author.

                      Five Writing Tips to Rock Your World

 1) First and last sentences are crucial.

The beginning and the end make lasting impressions.  The first sentence of a chapter should draw the reader in.  The last sentence should leave them waning more.  Keep them short.  This is not the time for clause after clause; limit your commas, and steer clear of the semicolon.  Get fancy somewhere else.

2) Listen to conversation.

So many writers ruin books with terrible dialogue.  Dialogue should sound at least somewhat like how people actually talk.  Your characters can sound smarter than average, but they should still be recognizable as residents of this planet, assuming that they are, in fact, human.  Use your ears.

3) Don't act like your readers are stupid.

You do not need to front load exposition in Chapter 1.  If you build your world in essay form at the beginning of the book, you cripple the story.  Let the reader figure things out gradually.  That is half the fun of reading.  You don't have to spell out everything.

4) Limit your adverbs.

English has an abundance of words.  Use them.  If you're putting "very" in front of something, chances are that there's a more precise, evocative word you can use instead.  I'm not forbidding adverbs; just don't go overboard with them.

5) Take your time.

Writing isn't a race.  Don't promise a book sooner than it can develop organically.  A story needs time to grow, just like a plant.  You harvest the fruit too soon, and it will taste sour.
What are your top tips, fellow writers?


1,  How long have you been writing?

    I started my first book about five years ago.

2. How many books have you authored?  Please give us up to 3 titles?


  I've written 3 novels and 1 book of short stories.  The novels are She Dies at the End, She Lights Up the Dark, and She Marches Through Fire.  Now that I've concluded that series, I'm working on a new project.

3. Do you have a writing schedule?

   I don't have a strict one.  I write whenever the other demands of life give me a few minutes free.

4. You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

I feel that my work is intelligent and well-written.

5. Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

  I think my work is informed by my somewhat unusual combination of life experiences.  I have a science background.  I have experience teaching high school in the inner city.  I married outside of my culture and race.  I've adopted a child across race.  I have traveled to Europe and Asia.  I live with a serious chronic illness.  I think my experiences give me a unique voice.

6. If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be?  Why?

 I adore Isabel Allende.  She is amazing across multiple cultures.  I'd love to know more about her process.

7. Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

I think I would try it at least once if I had the chance, just to see how the other half lives.  it would probably be educational.

8. As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself continuing to improve my writing and build my audience.

9. What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

  I use Canva almost daily.

10.  Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members?  Why?

Mae Clair is excellent.  She's a very consistent writer.

11. What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Read great books.

12. Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work? 
I think it really depends on the person, but often fast is not better.

13. If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready?  No matter your reason, please explain why?

I think you don't make promises you can't keep.

14. In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

The writing has to be good.   The characters need to be engaging.  The author needs to have something to say.  For me, those are the three keys.

15. If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do?  And the second?

I'd get a new eye I trust to look it over, and I'd make corrections as necessary.

Author Links for A.M. Manay

Twitter: @ammanay

          Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and ideas about being an author. 

              Please leave a comment or ask A.M. a question, she welcomes your thoughts. 


  1. Hello Karen and A.M.! I thoroughly enjoyed your writing tips, A.M. and also the interview. The writing tips were excellent. I've encountered a number of books where the dialogue comes off stilted and ruins an otherwise good story.

    Same with the opening. I recently abandoned a promising book because of a lackluster opening (that unfortunately dragged on through an entire chapter). It wasn't written by a RRBC member but I was disappointed because the plot sounded promising. Eventually, I'll end up giving it another try.

    A.M., thank you so much for the shout-out about my writing. A lovely compliment, I truly appreciate.

    Wishing you a wonderful day on the RWISA tour. Many thanks to Karen for hosting on her engaging blog.

    1. Thanks so much! I'm thrilled you found the tips insightful. :)

    2. Thank you for stopping by, MaeClair. I agree that A.M.'s writing tips are outstanding.

  2. Replies
    1. I am very happy to host you. It has been my honor.

  3. Great post! Thanks so much, Karen, for shining a light on Anne Margaret today!

  4. Awesome post, Anne, with fantastic advice. That assessment may be a BIT biased, as it's coming from your number one fan. I'm so excited for your next book release! Thanks to you, too, Karen, for hosting! Take care and have a wonderful weekend! :) ~Stephanie

    1. I'll take biased. ;) Thanks, Stephanie!

    2. I enjoyed getting to know this great author better.

  5. Great advice, A.M. Since you taught us about Canva at the conference, I use it frequently and love it! Your 3 books are on my Kindle; I'll be traveling very soon and will enjoy your masterpieces at that time. Thank you, Karen, for hosting Anne.

    1. A.M. has wonderful advice and ideas for all of us.

    2. That makes me so happy, Gwen! Thanks much.

  6. Wonderful interview, A.M.! Thanks for these great writing tips. I have book 1 on my Kindle and really look forward to it. I use Canva as well and enjoy it. It seems that I learn something new every time I use it. Thanks for sharing this with us today.
    Thanks for the warm welcome, Karen, as always. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Natalie! I can't believe how much I've learned since I first started using it.

    2. This has been a wonderful experience for me to host such a fine author.

  7. Great writing tips, Anne. I enjoyed the interview as well. Sharing...

    1. Anne Margaret is a treasure chest of ideas and tips. So much to learn from her.

  8. I loved the writing tips, Anne Margaret! It is so great to learn more about each other through this blog tour. Thank you for hosting, Karen.

    1. Having A.M. here on my blog has been an uplifting and educational experience. I am honored.

  9. It's great to get to know more about you, Anne Margaret. I love your post too, and you can't beat good dialogue that feels natural. :)
    Karen, thank you for hosting Anne Margaret :)

  10. Great interview, A.M.! I loved your writing tips, and enjoyed becoming more acquainted with you! I'll be reading your books soon! Karen, thanks for hosting!

  11. Excellent advice abd tips, A.M. I am not familiar with Canva. Will check that out. I wish you good fortune with your writing.

    1. Thank you! Canva is such an easy way to dip a toe into graphic design.

  12. Excellent advice and tips, A.M. I am not familiar with Canva. Will check that out. I wish you good fortune with your writing.

  13. Glad to get to know you better A.M.! You make good points about writing. I am always going back and weeding those adverbs out!

  14. Hi A.M., I like your take on most of the questions you answered, short and to the point. When I see a lot of verbiage, I tend to skip, and fast forward! :) Enjoyed your day! Thank you, Karen for hosting her.

  15. Liked your interview A.M. The two comments that struck me were: WHY YOU THINK YOU WERE ACCEPTED INTO RWISA - your work is intelligent and well-written - AND WHERE YOU THINK YOU WILL BE IN 5 YEARS - continuing to improve your writing and building your audience. Well said.

    Karen thank you for hosting A.M.

  16. Hi A.M.,
    Succinct writing advice - thanks. Your book breathed life into vampires for me (if anyone doesn't understand my comment - they need to read your books!)

  17. You know I totally love your books! <3 :-)